Small Business Savings Alert! Black Friday Isn't Just for Consumers
October 24, 2019
Black Friday is widely considered one of the best “deal days” for consumers, but small businesses shouldn’t overlook the potential for major discounts throughout the Thanksgiving weekend—whether you want to nab savings on gifts for clients, maximize your tax deductions or just make sure your office is stocked with everyday essentials through the holidays and into the new year. Savvy business owners know the best way to save big is to adhere to proven consumer shopping tips that can be applied to business savings, too. Here are our five favorites.
1. Make your list and check it twice.
It’s no bargain to buy something merely because it’s on sale. You can avoid racking up charges on impulse buys by taking inventory of your current stash of office supplies and estimating what you’ll need throughout the next few months, for example. The great news is that most of the things you use in your office are “nonperishables” with a long shelf life, so it’s easy to take advantage of savings on items you’ll use throughout the year. But, try to make sure that you didn’t do that last year—and still have the full shelves to show for it. This is also a good time to buy client gifts at savings, as many websites will also offer free shipping.
2. Don’t assume everything is on sale on Black Friday.
Prices fluctuate throughout the year, and sometimes an item that’s on sale might be even cheaper later. Consumer Reports has a handy pricing tool that gives you a view of the historic best prices for many different categories of goods. (A free account is needed.) Also, try to make sure to do the math on various types of deals. For example, your mind might read “Buy one, get one free” as “half off,” but that’s only the case if you can actually use two of something. And try to take a minute to find the dollars and cents savings of percentage discounts, which might be less than you think.
3. Read the fine print.
As you do your research, whether you spot a great deal online or in-store, try to make sure you understand all the details of the offer: how many of each item will be available, whether or not there are purchasing limits—retailers often limit certain deals to one to a customer—and whether or not you can use gift cards, store credits or additional coupons or discounts. In addition, if an item requires a rebate, try to make sure you commit to sending in the form and accompanying paperwork as soon as possible so you don’t miss out. You can also check ads and websites for price-matching rules, which vary by retailer but can be a huge time saver if you meet the criteria.
4. Scope out savings on services.
Yes, Black Friday is a great time to get deals on items you can buy online or pick up in the store, such as office supplies and client gifts. But, you also might reap savings on services, such as new computer set-up, web hosting, communication products, internet access, software services and even office cleaning as many non-retail establishments join the trend and offer special pricing on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Some might even offer additional savings if you lock into a service plan for the year ahead—a good way to start 2020 with savings in the bank and one task checked off your to-do list. This also might be a good time to review all your subscription plans and figure out additional ones that might help you run your business smoother, such as Office Depot’s printer ink and toner subscription program. After all, time is money.
5. Be rewarded for your loyalty.
While you’re liable to be bombarded with ads and social media posts highlighting great sales, try to make sure you don’t miss out on any “insider information” that you might receive by being a member of loyalty programs. You can sign up in advance to receive email marketing and special deals or early shopping hours that might be available only to select customers.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer who specializes in small business, finance and real estate.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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